Friday, January 31, 2003
Thursday, January 30, 2003
(Star Tribune, Jan. 30) "It's also obvious that our young people are going to be in harm's way, and a disproportionate number of those are going to be people of color. A third of the population of Minneapolis is people of color. A war will have an effect on the social fabric of this city."Minneapolis City Council Member Paul Zerby in an interview with columnist Doug Grow. Zerby wants the Minneapolis City Council to pass an anti-war resolution.
(USA Today, Jan. 21) But a close examination of Pentagon statistics suggests that at least some of the conventional wisdom about who is most at risk during wartime is misleading. For example, although blacks account for 26% of Army troops, they make up a much smaller percentage of those in front-line combat units, the most likely to be killed or injured in a conventional war.Article in USA Today examining a racial divide in the military.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003
(Star Tribune) Mike Marty was driving back to Wisconsin last Sunday, around noon, when the billowing steam from the Flint Hills refinery in Rosemount caught his artistic eye.The story doesn't mention it but the interview was conducted through the door of a a cell in the basement of a prison where Marty was being held in solitary confinement. There was no immediate word on where the rest of his family was being held.
Tuesday, January 28, 2003
So here we are: a massive troop buildup with no smoking aluminum canisters, no evidence and nothing but the same rhetoric from Washington. George W. Bush now has a decision.So, 60-70 percent of American don't support this cause and no "thinking" American wants war. If this is just a ploy for positive polling results, does that mean only the unthinking vote?
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
[French President Jacques] Chirac also said: "As far as we're concerned, war always means failure." CNN doesn't say what language he was speaking when he said this, but if it was French and not German, the statement refutes itself.
The last war we had with Iraq could have been won easily with truckloads of peanut butter sandwiches. Those people over there are starving.Skippy, Jif and Wonder Bread. If the B-52s had just dropped these instead of MK82s the war would have been much less lethal to the Republican Guard. And a lot less noisy.
Of course, the European Left would be complaining that we didn't include toothbrushes, toothpase and dental floss. Once again showing the world just how evil Americans are.
Monday, January 20, 2003
(CNN) In hilly San Francisco, officials feared the battery-powered Segways would cause more problems than they would solve, particularly for the disabled and senior citizens.Pedestrian safety? Hardly. Here's why:
The upright device -- controlled by body movements with the help of tiny computers and balance-controlling gyroscopes -- has been tested across the country by postal workers, police officers and meter readers. They're on sale to the public at Amazon.com for $4,950 each and will begin shipping in March.The homeless won't be able to afford them. And if bums can't Segway, no one should.
Sunday, January 19, 2003
JUAN GATO says Senator Paul Wellstone (D – Heaven) may reach full Mumia status by year's end.
It was an interesting day, actually seeing these people in action. One of the city supervisors, Tom Ammiano, got up on the loudspeaker to speak. He gave the usual platitudes about the demonstraters being patriots, then stated that San Francisco was undergoing a budget crunch, and requested that protesters not tip over any police cars. A strange thing to hear from an elected official. I suppose if San Francisco was flush with cash then tipping over a police car would be quite acceptable. Apparently there is nothing wrong with tipping over a police car, only with the city paying to fix it.It's no wonder these are the same folks who equate criticism with censorship.
Saturday, January 18, 2003
1/18/2003 07:01:00 PM
No doubt I now grew VERY pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was a low dull, quick sound -- much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what could I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they knew! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! --But this time, it's not dripping into the bowl, it's dripping all over the floor.
In the interest of not bringing down the entire Internet by writing down everything I did next, let's just say I tried to correct whatever mistake I had made. I tried, yes I did. And things just got worse. And wetter.
So, now the water to the toilet is turned off, parts are on the floor and I've instructed everyone to use the other toilet for the next two days. I've surrendered. Other than changing light bulbs I am totally done with home improvement for the next six months. And I might not even change a light bulb myself if it's more than 75 watts.
To all your readers who keep insisting Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction: The dozen chemical weapon warheads are also meaningless. They need to be found fully loaded on an airplane with its engines running and the pilot in possession of his instructions before we should become a little concerned. Then, we can always try to peacefully negotiate with Saddam Hussein and tell him the plane can fly around while we conduct our talks.
I'm not an expert on weaponry so I'll avoid taking on Jason Lewis' notion that an attack by North Korea is imminent and we are lucky our president is moving forward with a plan to develop ground-based interceptors so that the United States will be shielded from missile attack ("Arms control crowd, as usual, is dangerously wrong," Commentary, Jan. 3).A significant number of writers.
The way they identify him as the Nobel Peace Prize winner seems to suggest that either they believe that the former president doesn't deserve the honor or that the Nobel Peace Prize is an award all recipients should be ashamed to receive since it connotes that the winner is a "peacenik."Yes. And a skunk by any other name still stinks.
Carter received it in 2002 "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."An A and a gold starfor effort. Unfortunately, results matter.
Clearly, the underlying principle here is that the recipient must be endeavoring to advance the causes of peace and justice not only for Americans but for all people.Say, for example, Nobel Peace Prize winner Yasser Arafat.
But I'm guessing Lewis knows this and is not quibbling with the criteria or selection process.It sure isn't fair of him to examine the process. After all, it is the “Nobel Peace Prize.”
I'm betting Lewis believes effective leaders do not seek Nobel prizes. They develop weapons and armies that are bigger and better than other countries' weapons and armies and demand compliance rather than broker peace.So it’s better to go for the brass ring. Even when dealing with murderous dictators.
This is a strategy that has worked in the short term for the United States but over time has earned us nonconventional opponents.Google search: "Tora Bora" + "B-52" + "Al Qaeda" + "crippled"
The answer is not with better weapons or bigger armies.Negative perceptions, no. Terrorist hideouts, yes. And coming soon, countries that support terrorism.
These intangibles are our true enemies and, like it or not, people who fight these enemies sometimes earn Nobel prizes.So name one.
Friday, January 17, 2003
1/17/2003 08:04:00 AM
Thursday, January 16, 2003
(Minneapolis Star Tribune) In the "men's flying room" of the transcendental meditation center in south Minneapolis, [Jeff] Mason flew Wednesday for close to 20 minutes. Actually, he was pushing himself off the floor mat with his hands, bouncing up and then landing again.Who needs B-52s when you can bounce on a mat?
They don't want to pray just for peace. They want to create it, they say, and maintain that groups of people, say 200 in the Twin Cities, doing yogic flying would create a sense of well-being for the entire population and put Minnesota on the way to a more peace-filled life.My children have been jumping on the bed for years and I've never thought of it as peaceful.
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
EIGHTY PER CENT of people responding to this Time Europe online poll think that the US is a greater threat to world peace than Iraq or North Korea. This may in part be due to the shortage of live Kurds able to vote, and the inadequate Internet access in the graves of Korean dissidents.
1/15/2003 07:51:00 AM
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
America was supposed to meditate on why they hate us. Unfortunately for them, we did consider it and came to the conclusion that they hate us because they're a bunch of incompetent losers who are shamed by our success.
(Minneapolis Star Tribune) Maybe the Minnesotans who still have the sad green "Wellstone!" signs in their yards need group support in order to take them down. We'll offer some: Let's make Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 20 -- a fitting occasion, given Paul and Sheila Wellstone's work for social justice -- Wellstone Sign Removal Day. At sunrise (or thereabouts), make a vow to uphold the causes they championed; say a prayer if you're so inclined; then, all together, one, two, three -- pull.
1/08/2003 09:07:00 AM
Monday, January 06, 2003
A female ice cleaner makes an appearance during a commercial break during a game between the Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003. The Senators have added females to the ice cleaning staff in hopes of raising ticket sales for the team. The Senators, reportedly $360 million US in debt, missed their team payroll Wednesday after a deal to restructure the club's finances fell through.You've come a long way, Senator.
Some South Korean students and civic activists are calling for a nationwide boycott -- but many other South Koreans are watching the movie.The story mentions that one (yes, one) theater outside of Seoul has dropped the movie.
All the commotion over adding a fourth language -- Somali -- to the ticket vending machines on two new Twin Cities transit lines was a matter far less important than another yet unresolved design consideration: maps.They'll be arguing over whether to used red dots or blue dashes on the maps for the "future" routes before this is all over.
Maps posted at the stations and on the buses and rail cars of the new Northwest and Hiawatha transit lines should show not only those two routes but future corridors as well. Only when riders begin to see that Northwest and Hiawatha are not ends but the beginning of a wider system will these important investments make sense.I see and hear a commercial with John Lennon's "Imagine" playing softly in the background. Imagine all the routes, it's easy if you try, see the shiny tracks, all the train cars oh my, imagine all the riders, riding mass transit...
So mapmakers should include plenty of dotted lines showing future routes toward St. Paul, Eden Prairie, St. Cloud, Hastings, Apple Valley, White Bear Lake and so on. These match a long-range plan from the Metro Transitways Development Board, which has been studying various corridor options since 1992.Ten years of study and we have a lot of dotted lines to show for it. Now if we just had a nickel for each dot we'd be able to purchase a fifth of a mile of the next leg.
At first glance, such maps might be taken as a provocation by an incoming administration cool to transit. Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty has stressed road expansion as the only way to tackle the traffic problem. He's likely to oppose any new transit funding, whether by state dedication or local sales tax. Quite candidly, Pawlenty's election, coupled with Minnesota's enormous fiscal challenge, has set back these transit projects by, perhaps, a decade.Pawlenty's was sworn into office less than an hour ago as I write. How could he have already set this back ten years?
The first illustration came last week when Ramsey County ran its ambitious 30-year transit plan onto a siding, citing both fiscal and political hurdles. Other pullbacks will follow.Someone should have told them to have more dotted lines in the plan.
But that doesn't mean these corridors should be entirely forgotten. The new governor deserves a crack at his roads-only attempt. But as time passes, voters will see more clearly that this metropolitan area, like others, can't solve its traffic problems only by encouraging more driving. Even with new roads, congestion will mount, distances will increase and family time will be squeezed. Eventually people here will demand the choices provided in comparable cities like Denver, Dallas, San Diego and others where starter rail lines are now being expanded. The idea isn't that transit and roads are competitors but that they can work in concert to make people's lives better.Fine. You ride the train to work, to the grocery store and to you're kids' soccer practice. Those destinations are with in walking distance of rail and bus lines, right? In a metro area of over a million people, even a hundred rail lines aren't going to be convenient for many. I'll drive, thank you. Or I'll take the bus. When ridership patterns change, the bus company can change routes. Now about those tracks set in cement...
A map on a wall seems like a small detail. It's not. It symbolizes a region's resolve to keep its eye on the future, and to extend the benefits of mobility to everyone.A map on the wall is a small detail. Billions of dollars for a several rail routes serving limited riders is only slightly larger. But just imagine all the dots.
Sunday, January 05, 2003
1/05/2003 03:41:00 PM
Thursday, January 02, 2003
Wednesday, January 01, 2003